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Midwife jailed over $350,000 fraud

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/11/2016

A former Hamilton midwife who pretended to deliver 120 babies that do not exist so she could claim government payments has been found guilty of defrauding the Ministry of Health of $357,139.

Pania Lee Nin was sentenced to 2 years and 4 months in prison on Monday after pleading guilty to two charges of obtaining by deception in the Hamilton District Court.

An investigation into Nin found the 43-year-old had, between 2008 and 2016, charged the government payments for maternity services she performed for five mothers and 120 babies who do not exist.

To claim the payments, she set up false National Health Index numbers for them.

She had also claimed New Zealand payments while not holding a current certificate to practice as a midwife and while being registered and working in Australia.

The ministry's director of protection, regulation and assurance, Dr Stewart Jessamine, said a number of women had also been victims of Nin's crime.

"Those who made victim impact statements said they were shocked, angry and disappointed that Pania Nin - who was in a position of trust - had used their names in order to falsely claim (payments)," she said.

Dr Jessamine said the ministry had improved its processes in the wake of the investigation into Nin by changing the way births are registered over the phone and examining better ways to identify when midwife certificates have lapsed.

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